curvy woman

The Differences between Curvy, Plus Size, and Full Figured

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Let’s be honest! There is hardly any consensus on what society deems to be the differences between curvy, plus size or full-figured. The standards and measurements are constantly changing based on Holly Wood celebrities, social media personalities of the day or the industry you’re in. With the incessant fluctuating opinions, here’s how we confidently tell them apart.

Being curvy speaks to proportion rather than size. It refers to the difference between your mid-section and the lower section of your body. A curvy woman is one whose hips are considerably larger than their waist line. The average difference being .75 and sometimes beyond! Conversely, being plus size speaks to the general size and weight of your silhouette. Plus size-ladies are typically thick throughout their body frame. They are heavy chested, with a wide mid-section, wide hips and a round behind. Full figured ladies on the other hand have a cup D size or higher and a lesser band size.

Curves do not necessarily translate into volume. Being plus size does not make you curvy nor does being curvy make you plus size. When we talk about curves, remember proportion! Curves can be present on wide or narrow body frames. Anybody size can be curvy. There are petite curvy frames with the likes of Rihanna and Jennifer Lawrence who are excellent pear shapes, those with large curvy frames such as Ashley Graham and Kim Kardashian who have thick hourglass figures.

Being Plus Size resonates with being whole–rounded thick. On average, a size 12 and above woman is considered plus size. A plus-size woman may not be deemed curvy as her proportions are relatively equal throughout her frame. According to Fashion Incubator, a considerably thin woman can be said to be curvy compared to her plus-size female counterpart. By comparing her breast girth to her waist and hips, her proportions are more distinct and distinguishable. This may not be the case with plus size women as they have nearly uniform body proportions.

Do bear in mind, that being curvy is relative and the conclusion is arrived at by comparing your upper and lower body proportions. The larger the difference- the curvier you are. The smaller the difference- the less curvy you are.

full–figure woman is one who has a large bra size- cup size D and above- and a considerably small waist size. This terminology is common in the lingerie business to help distinguish between bras so that one can obtain the right size. Therefore there is a difference between a plus figure bra and a full figure bra of cup size D.

Off course there being no ideal measurements, there are several variations of the ‘curvy woman’ the ‘plus size woman’ and the ‘full-figured woman’. Now that we are on the topic we might as well unearth the importance of body sizes and how we can rock each body frame like a pro! Let’s dive right in.

Curvy, Plus-Size, or Full-figured – why does it matter?

Knowing your body size definitely matters because your body type affects 3 fundamental things about you.

  1. Your Clothing
  2. Your Health
  3. Your Training

Our appearance, aura and presentation to the world are intimately impacted by our body types. Body types dictate what should and should not be worn and how we should wear our clothes. Knowing your body type is facilitative in helping you project a self-aware and self-loving glow. It equips you on how to dress to best flatter your frame and improve your overall appearance.

If you think about it, a lot is communicated by the clothes we wear and how we wear them. You can exude power, class, femininity, fun, calmness to those around you and a lot of the other negative vibes such as being clumsy, lazy, ‘a don’t care’, rigid or masculine. These subconscious impressions that we give off on a daily basis are what influence society judgements of whether we are worth the job, the date, the raise, the friendship and the like.

Our body shapes are also vital to our health and well-being. According to there are three categories of somatotypes (body shapes): the ectomorph, the endomorph, and the mesomorph. Ectomorphs are those who are leaner, they find it difficult to gain weight and may be equated to marathon runners. Mesomorphs are those whose bodies quickly burn fat and thus have little fat in their bodies examples will be soccer players and bodybuilders.

Ectomorphs comprise of those who easily gain weight but find it harder to shed it off. In most instances, fat is stored in their hips and thighs. Most curvy and plus size women fall into this category. This is because their body stores fat and ‘high carbs’ instead of burning them. According to several health risks such as heart disease or diabetes type 2 may arise if proper precautions are not taken to mitigate the buildup of fat, especially in your belly area.

Similarly, your body shape affects your training. Just because you look good does not mean you are fit. Being knowledgeable of your body shape helps you or your trainer to custom-make your training schedule and routines. This helps to target particular areas of your body that you would want to grow leaner or fuller in.

Elegance and Beauty for the Curvy, Plus Size and Full-figured Woman

Beauty is subjective. It is a construct of our perceptions and long-held beliefs. According to, there have been several changes to what is deemed elegant and beautiful over the decades. In the 1950s what was beauty was restricted to a woman’s naturally synched waist of 28 inches, a 5ft 12 inches stature, and a no.8 dress size. The options were limited.

However, today there is greater liberty and open-mindedness in what is ascribed as beautiful. All body frames, sizes and shapes are beautiful. There is no ideal. The wide array of assortments is what brings diversity and vibrancy into the world. You don’t need to be a size zero to be or feel pretty!

Increasingly, there is growing social acceptance to thicker and bigger body frames. According to plus size figures are being embraced as the new normal with the fashion industry developing keener approaches to address the needs of this niche of consumers and leverage this market gap.

How to dress you!

Whether you are curvy, plus size, or full-figured, there are great fashion tips and trends that promise to dazzle your frame. According to Annabey, here is how to dress your shape.

Curvy women

Upper Body

Flaunt your curves! A common mistake that curvaceous women do is to try hiding their curves- perhaps they feel their frames are too dramatic and attention-grabbing. This is the very opposite of what you should do.

1. Look for blouses or tops that fit you properly. Do not go for over-sized t-shirts, blouses, or sweaters unless you are sitting at home all day on Netflix. Fitting tops tend to accentuate your upper body which is something you should aim to always do.

2. Go for fittings that highlight your narrow waist line – Your waist line is your greatest asset here. Highlighting your waist helps showcase the balance of your body proportions more boldly, this is quite alluring. Tops such as peplums are perfect!

3. Play with belts and jewelry – Add belts to your dresses or tops to enable you to ‘synch’ your waistline. Form fitting dresses such as body cons serve the same purpose.

Lower Body

If your thighs and hips are considerably wide and you are not comfortable with them being ‘obvious’, you can down play things on the lower half of the body.

1. Wear A- line skirts as opposed to straight skirts.– This will lessen the dramatic effect of your hips, giving a straighter rather than a curved impression.

2. Wear darker pants or skirts– Colors can either optically increase or decrease a person’s size. Darker colors tend to give an impression of a slimmer figure.

3. Wear pants that have a flare ending – This tends to distribute your volume more evenly to the rest of your lower body.

Plus size women

Upper Body

Plus size woman in black dress

1. Pick out tailored pieces – Go for tops that have structure to them. Structured pieces tend to optically align and distribute any excess volume especially around your chest area.

2. Do not wear oversized garments – Do not succumb to the temptation of trying to ‘hide’ the extra thickness with oversized clothing. Oversized sweaters, blazers or tops tend to make you look bulkier and larger.

3. Wear patterns – Patterns add life to your outfit and more importantly tend to engage an onlooker’s eye and distract from your body frame. This is helpful in diverting attention away from your love hurdles, thick arms, belly fat or other parts that you may not be too comfortable with people noticing.

4. Switch things up with monochrome styling – Monochrome dressing makes you look uniform and hence slimmer if done correctly. Pick colors such as black, hues of grey and dark brown, as they tend to make you look more sleek and slimmer. Alternatively, if you want a dash of color, you can coordinate the main pieces of your outfit to be monochrome and then add a bold and playful jewelry, scarf or cardigan to the mix.

5. Add belts – This helps you create a distinct waistline. Naturally, full-figured women do not have a distinct waist, adding belts help you give an impression of the same, hence increasing the loveliness of your overall appearance.

Lower Body

1. Be mindful of the fabric– Preferably use fabrics that are not too thin for the extra support and better fit on your body. Choose fabric that is stiff and preferably textured. This minimizes the risk of the garment being too form fitting in a manner that highlights all the areas you do not want noticed.

2. Avoid layering– Too many layers can give the impression that you are trying to hide your frame. The additional layers will make you seem even bulkier than what you already are.


woman posing

Because of their voluminous chest region, the important key in dressing up their frame is undergarments. Off course, undergarments are an important prerequisite to any woman’s dressing that need not be forgotten. Proper undergarments help you to securely hold up your body features more pleasantly.

Upper Body

Invest in high quality undergarments which includes picking bras that nicely hold up your boobs. They should be strong enough and comfortable. Finding the perfect bra has never been easier. However, there are several YouTube clips and fashion publications that that offer step by step guidance on how to choose the perfect one.

Lower Body

Full figured women typically tend to be curvy. They therefore can employ the same tips and tricks listed above on how to dress curvy women.

How to take care of your frame

Whether you are a plus size, curvy or full figured woman, you can take care of your body frame by doing the following:

1. Eat healthily and drink lots of water – How you maintain or optimize your body shape is by having great nutrition. Eating healthy foods help your body look and feel young and vibrant.

2. Exercise – There is no compromise to this. Exercise has numerous great benefits such as reduction of excess fat, muscle growth and helps to reduce stress – just to name a few.

3. Dress in relation to your body type – Don’t just put on something because you like it or because it looks good on someone else. Put on what flatters your body frame and highlights the features that you are pleased with.

4. Pamper yourself – How you treat yourself is a reflection of how beautiful and elegant you feel. Substitute practices such as binge eating or over sleeping with more healthy and rewarding treats, like going to a spa or a nature trail.

5. Smile! – Yes, smile girl. Your look is not complete without a smile. Smiling radiates authenticity and contentment hence positive energy is always important to maintain.

Is it possible to change your body frame?

Changing your body frame may be difficult, but is possible. Several women are desirous of the ‘ideal’ body which is usually depicted as being a curvy hourglass frame. Therefore there are many queries on how to obtain this body shape. Off course it will take time, effort and consistency but the changes will soon be evident.

The surest way to accomplishing this fit is by setting a work out and diet schedule. Enroll to a reputable gym or acquire the service of a personal trainer and nutritionist to help you set up your goals and work towards them. You could also opt to go for plastic surgery, however, make sure you are well aware of all possible consequences. Also, be sure to check out our top picks to find the perfect compliments no matter which category you fall in.

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